Monday, August 22, 2005

College Degree = No Right to Complain?

I've encountered an attitude in several places and blogged about it before that because I went to a swank private college that I'm not allowed to be upset with my life or that I must have had some excessive life of privelege.


I truly don't understand this attitude. Yes, I am the daughter of an Air Force officer (well, after the age of six, that is; he was enlisted before that, and do I really have to give my parents' story of the time before I was six to somehow validate myself in anyway?). Yes, I went to Notre Dame and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Yes, my parents took out some loans to help with ND's tuition. Yes, I am currently living a middle-class life. Yes, I also have the ability and freedom to indulge in a hobby that may one day allow me to work at home and raise my children. I fail to see how any of these facts (and I could present the other side of them that clearly shows that I fought my way, tooth and nail to earn every single one of them--well, beyond being the daugher of an Air Force officer; didn't have a whole lot of choice there, but I could go on about the negative impacts that had on my life) somehow negates any complaint I may have about the current status of my life.

In the past, the fact that I was going to ND has been used as the sole reason why I shouldn't be upset about my parents' divorce. It was inferred that my college experience was less because, since I went to ND, I obviously hadn't earned my degree as compared to someone who went to a state school and, just as obviously, had to work their way through it and fight every day for that degree. And it's also been implied that somehow I am less worthy as a human being just because I had successful parents who provided me with shelter, food, love, and material things beyond the basic necessities in life. Or rather, I am less worthy if I dare to complain about anything in my life because my parents gave me those things and I can provide myself with those things now.

Why should I have to explain myself? I'm very tempted to defend my fight to get where I am today. It wasn't easy. Sure, it could've been harder. Sure, it had nothing of the stress of wanting for basic necessities. But I'm not going to sit here and apologize because it wasn't. And I'm not going to detail my own little "sob story" to try and get other assholes to stop assuming shit about people because of a few random facts that in no way make the shape of any person. People who wear their lack of privelege or their sorrows as a badge of superiority over those who have the privelege and don't have the sorrows (at least based on those damned assumptions) just don't seem to get what it means to be human. Life is not a contest.


Dave said...

If my calculations are correct, then life + Mark = infinite right to complain.

Andi said...

You now have to fit certain criteria to be able to complain? Since when? Being alive gives a person a right to complain (and some might decide to complain about being dead - can't say I'd know). No one's life is so perfect that they can't complain, and complaining is free. There's no special requirements you have to fulfill.

Just once, it'd be nice to have people realize that superiority isn't important.

Kellie said...

Dave, I think that only applies to brothers. Well, this year at least. He's made a lot of dinners and washed a lot of dishes so I don't have to. Kinda feel bad complaining about that. Kinda.

Andi, it's amazing how so many people think they need to be better--even in something like pain and suffereing--to feel valid. Very, very sad.